China recovered from the Mongol rule, largely promoting Confucian learning, reestablishing the examination system, creating a centralized government, repairing and renovating cities, recovering the economy, and undertaking huge maritime expeditions.
Zheng He's Expeditions to the Indian Ocean
1405 - 1433
He sought to enroll distant peoples and states in the Chinese tribute system while establishing Chinese power and prestige throughout the Indian Ocean- controlling trade without conquering new territories.
Chinese Encounter With Jesuit Christianity (16th-19th century)
1550 - 1800
No mass conversion occurred, but officials and scholars did convert. The Jesuit scholars introduced many Western scientific concepts to China. In the end, the Jesuits were discredited and Christianity failed to really take told in China.
China Makes Silver Its New Currency (1570's)
1570 - 1579
The sudden demand for silver caused its value to greatly increase, and ultimately allow Europeans and others who, until now, could not trade with the Chinese to enter this wealthy market.
Kaozheng Movement (17th to 18th century)
1600 - 1700
Meaning "research based on evidence", kaozheng emphasized the importance of verification precision, accuracy, and analysis.
Qing (aka Manchu) Dynasty (17th-20th century)
1644 - 1912
China expanded to about the size that it is today, establishing a new Court of Colonial Affairs to deal with these new territories, while not assimilating these new people into Chinese culture. Thus ultimately resulting in the impoverished regions there today. Land commerce was replaced by ocean commerce. This dynasty also marked the end of nomadic powers.
Massive Population Growth Due to American Food Crops and Robust Economy
1685 - 1853
Treaty of Nerchinsk
As China expanded, the threat of the also expanding Russian Empire created the need for a treaty to secure the boundary between the two empires.
Massive Increase in Opium Imports (18th-19th century)
1773 - 1832
The illegal importation of opium flouted Chinese law and caused internal corruption. The drug was paid for in silver, causing a reversal in the flow of silver from China, weakening the economy.
China Outlaws Opium
The British were offended by this and started the first Opium War.
First Opium War
Treaty of Nanjing Ends First Opium War
They imposed numerous restrictions on the Chinese and granted foreigners the ability to live in China under their own laws.
1850 - 1864
They wanted abolition of private property, redistribution of land, gender equality, and the reorganization of society into sexually segregated military camps. In the end, provincial landowners crushed the rebel forces. The Qing Dynasty was weakened as a result and the Uprising postponed resolutions to all the problems that were fought for and stopped any real efforts at modernization and weakened the Chinese economy.
Second Opium War
1856 - 1858
China's loss in the Second Opium War resulted in opening more trading ports, allowed foreigners to buy land in China, opened the country to Christian missionaries, and permitted Western Powers to patrol some of China's interior waterways.
Qing Dynasty's "Self Strengthening" Movement
1860 - 1879
Fears of conservative leaders, however, inhibited success of this movement because they feared that industrialization would erode the power of the landlord class. Therefore, the self-strengthening movement was a general failure.
China Loses Korea, Vietnam, and Taiwan to the French and Japanese
1885 - 1895
These defeats resulted in many Western nations carving out spheres of influence in China
An anti-foreigner movement in which many Europeans and Chinese Christians were killed.
Collapse of the Qing Dynasty
Led to the Guomindang Party governing China
Communism in China
1921 - 1949
Using a decisive opening created by Japan's invasion of China, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) addressed both the problems of foreign imperialism and peasant exploitation.
Guomindang Party Governs China
1928 - 1948
A measure of modern development only really impacting urban areas.
Disputes Over Cold War Decisions
1950 - 1969
China bitterly criticized Khrushchev for backing down in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Marriage Law Gives New Rights to Women
Great Leap Forward
1958 - 1960
Mao Zedong's reform attempts to mobilize China's enormous rural population for rapid development which ended up killing 20 million people.
The Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution
1966 - 1969
An attempt to combat capitalism but there was no large scale success.
Death of Mao Zedong Marks the End of Communism
The CCP gradually abandoned Maoist socialism while retaining control of the country. The results were stunning economic growth and new prosperity for millions.